Here’s My Story!
Hi. My name is Jackie.
I began investing in real estate at the age of 28 while working as a school social worker during the day. I bought 2 rental properties, then my first personal residence. After my best friend and boyfriend Troy died suddenly of epilepsy, I lost interest in a lot of things, including real estate. He never even got a chance to see my out-0f-state rental properties, but he let me know that he was so proud of me and wanted to invest in real estate himself. That made thinking about real estate investing even more painful.
I didn’t open bills or eat much for about 2 months. Then, I had an epiphany and decided to move to a different city (to be closer to family and old friends) as well as change careers. I became a teacher, which I quickly realized is my calling.
That career change resulted in a pay drop, which meant fewer funds to invest with. In fact, I got behind in my debts over time. Tenants moved out and I couldn’t afford to upkeep the properties to get new tenants. I managed to complete 2 wholesale deals over the years, but sold both rentals and eventually sold my second home via a short sale.
When I was finally at my wit’s end financially, I decided to follow Dave Ramsey’s advice for getting out of debt. I began to manage my money differently on the much smaller salary. I created an emergency fund and threw extra money at debt. I stayed in my car for 14 non-consecutive months so that I could get out of the hole I was in as quickly as possible. The biggest takeaway from that experience is that I learned to keep an emergency fund and to treat money with greater respect.
Here I am 3 years after moving into my car and starting the Dave Ramsey Baby Steps. I have been renting a room for 1.5 years now. I have a hefty emergency fund and much less debt. One thing I also gained back is my passion for real estate investing. It never completely went away – I just had to grieve for a time after Troy’s death, then adjust to some drastic life changes.
Two months ago (October 2016) while traveling on a 13 hour trip, I had the idea to start a personal finance blog to share what I learned and succeeded at in the area of personal finance. For 13 hours I planned and recorded voice notes in my cell phone. Over time, it became clear to me that people would also like to know how to improve their net worth by earning money and there’s one way I know how to earn money besides my day job – real estate investing.
Like all investors, I made some fab decisions, and I made decisions that I would do differently a second time around. However, I can say that I have completed 6 deals in my life. There are a lot of newbies who would love to be able to say that.
So, as I start back up in 2017, I will share what I know with others who are coming along.
My focus is on helping people who want to keep their day jobs, like me. I want to keep my day job – teaching children – because it’s my passion. However, I know other people simply want the security, don’t love real estate enough to do it full-time, or don’t have a drive to be filthy rich.
There are excellent real estate investing sites online, and most of those investors are full-time. It can be misleading. 2 Deals A Year is the real estate investing website for part timers. Why 2 deals a year? Well, in real estate investing world, we like to use scenarios, so here’s one.
Suppose you are 40 years old and you buy 2 single family rentals a year, netting just $200 from each one per month after expenses (you’ve already taken out money for upkeep and emergencies, so the rest is gravy). After 5 years you will have 10 rentals and $2000 a month income.
Suppose during that time you invested that rental income each month. And suppose your investing only brings you a paltry 5% a year. After 5 years, you would be 45 years old and have $80,832 invested.
Now suppose you decided 10 properties is enough for you. You just want to maintain those properties at $2000 a month for another 10 years. Rents defy the norm and stay stagnant instead of going up, and your investments incredibly continued to bring in a paltry 5% for 10 years. This is a pretty bad scenario. Yet, you would be 55 years old with $448, 629!
The scenario would be the same if you started at age 50 and ended at age 65.
The numbers would look even better if you started at age 30 or 25 and invested for longer. Or, if you threw some wholesale deals in there in addition to your rentals. Or, if you happened to invest in more than 2 deals a year some years. Or, if rents increased. Or, if the stock market rose in 15 years.
In other words, it’s pretty hard to go wrong with just 2 deals a year.
So, I’m challenging myself and my readers to invest in at least 2 deals a year. I will share my progress on this blog, and I want to hear others’ stories, too. My investing experiences, even in bumpy times, was AMAZING! I’m ready for more.
So, let’s go do this!
(Thanks for reading my story. Please skip over to the “Jackie’s Goals” page and read my goals for the year so you can hold me accountable)!